The Slightly Famous Agent

Managing Real Estate Broker with San Diego Previews Real Estate CA BRE# 01101958

 We real estate bloggers aren't exactly seeking rock star fame, but most of us would be happy with slightly famous status. We want be bookmarked in real estate, so people in our target markets come to us with their real estate needs. We need to be able to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. Most of us are honorable,referable and respected real estate professionals. But key to success in our business is being remembered. Without that, we run the risk of operating our businesses on hope and chance.

Steven Yoder, author of Slightly Famous, deserves credit for this inspiration. Though he speaks to a larger marketing audience, his advice hits a home run in real estate--especially if we re-apply his website advice to blogging. Some of his concepts and possible applications:

1. Creating your slightly famous status is not just about what you (we all) do, but rather about how you do it differently from anybody else. You need to set yourself apart. Canned and copied messages do little to raise you above the crowd. Be courageous and find your own voice.

2. Give your readers something they can't get offline (or online, for that matter). How about a specialized infection? Yoder suggests infecting the vacuum in your target marketplace with your ideas so completely that competitors will first have to eliminate your virus before they can unleash one of their own. (I couldn't help but think of Active Rain's viral blog). Then, continue to create remarkable and noteworthy online experiences to further spread your virus. Yoder advises, though, to always begin by infecting your core audience first. That is your focus. They will spread the virus.

3. Keep yourself immersed in the world and concerns of your target audience, to the point of developing a sixth sense about that marketplace. If you deal with first time home buyers , it is imperative you understand their concerns, fears, hopes and dreams--and address those states of mind. The same would apply to the trophy home buyer, the second home shopper, or the borrower with a broken ARM.

We operate in a crowded marketplace, in a blogosphere that is doubling every five months. Your competition is just a click away. How can you stand out? I love the solution: Just be slightly famous. Write, blog and drag a long tail behind you. Focus your message, write to engage the reader, and give them something they would have a hard time finding anywhere else.

I am inclined to favor real estate secrets, tips and gossip. In fact, I am debating just what (and how much) I should reveal in my next post....

Stay tuned.


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Bob Sommers
Sommers Communication - Kihei, HI
The Likeability Guy
Thanks for the post Roberta. I had an opportunity to interview Steven Van Yoder on my marketing show and he was great. You can listen to the program at  He's about half way down the list. 
Dec 10, 2006 06:20 AM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad
Good post, Roberta, thanks for sharing. Guess I'd rather be slightly famous than infamous. Sounds like a not-to-miss book.
Dec 10, 2006 06:31 AM #7
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"
One of my considerations in blogging has always been that my competition could be reading it too.  So, giving enough information to appear THE expert... AND tangling the carrot so actual prospects have to come to me for the "rest of the story" is a bit of a game.   No need to be famous, but I'd like to be known as the "go to" gal for real estate info in my market area.
Dec 10, 2006 06:45 AM #8
Mary McKnight
Sacrilicious Marketing - Orlando, FL
Sometimes generating the fame means you have to create a little controversy and not every personality can handle the backlash associated with it.  I can only speak from my own experience: be sure you are prepared for being "slightly famous" before you seek it.
Dec 10, 2006 06:54 AM #9
Eddy Martinez
Nationwide Funding Group - Highland Park, CA
us professionals in the mortgage also want that same recognition. Being  creative is key to reaching this goal. Great perspective Roberta!
Dec 10, 2006 07:01 AM #10
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"
Mary... I have definitely avoided the controversy because I work in a relatively small market.  Believe me, if I had the personality for it, I could stir the pot.  ;-)
Dec 10, 2006 07:01 AM #11
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I think we all can "stir the pot" as it were. It's tough creating controversy, or in my own experience, keeping away from controversy.  I certainly don't want to be fighting with anyone online! Maybe everyone reads these blogs, but lets face it, we pick one of the bloggers to relate to while reading the post and tend to stay with that blogger.

Loyalties start from the first few blogs. Even if you dont't get back to them for awhile, they will still be your favorites. So to me, blogging for my area is slow methodical process. (Although RI is probably not reading too much online yet, but they will and I will be on top:)

Dec 10, 2006 08:36 AM #12
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans
Roberta.... some good insight here. And I will agree with Mary McKnight, in regards to that there is a price for being slightly famous. And # 1 is so true, showing that you are different than others. The key is finding or know how to do this. And I liked the infection idea.  Spreading this around. Interesting.
Dec 10, 2006 09:41 AM #13
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA

Excellent post with very good ideas.. I'm always looking for blogging tips ... thanks..

Dec 10, 2006 11:04 AM #14
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
Thanks for the recommendation-I am adding to my stocking for Christmas!
Dec 10, 2006 12:13 PM #15
Angus in Naperville IL
RE/MAX of Naperville - Naperville, IL

Great post Roberta. This is great info... there is no doubt that if you "put yourself out there" you can also become an easy target. It is something to consider when deciding to jump in.

Of course it's too late for some of us...

Ready, Fire, Aim!

Dec 10, 2006 02:37 PM #16
Kaushik Sirkar
Call Realty, Inc. - Chandler, AZ
Great advice!  One must always strive to separate themselves from the pack!
Dec 10, 2006 03:10 PM #17
Jolynne Photography, Creative Wedding Photography, Family Portraits, Bar Mitzvahs
Jolynne Photography - Hemet, CA
Bat Mitzvahs, Senior Pictures, Event Photography

I wouldn't want to google the words "Specialized Infection" :)

Great post.

Dec 10, 2006 03:55 PM #18
Kelly Mitchell
The Wine Siren & Agent Caffeine - Napa, CA Food | Wine | Fab *Napa Valley
Hi Roberta-Thanks for the reinforcement we are doing something right and the suggestion to differentiate.  Well told!  Aloha - Kelly
Dec 10, 2006 07:43 PM #19
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate

Excellent tips Roberta!!!  We all want to be "slightly famous!".  There's nothing better than to meet someone for the first time and have them say "so, YOU'RE Chris Tesch!, I've seen you in..."

Dec 10, 2006 11:26 PM #20
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Roberta, my mind is running away with the long-tail (perhaps there is a long tail in the dashboard somewhere).  Good read. Thanks for the recommendation. Famous...mmm maybe just slightly famous, I might want to be able to go in public without the poporatzie (whatever on the spelling!)

Dec 11, 2006 12:54 AM #21
William Collins
ERA Queen City Realty - Scotch Plains, NJ
Director of Property and Asset Management
Roberta, Thanks for the post. Sound advice for those looking to stay in front of the pack!
Dec 11, 2006 01:11 AM #22
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
Ooohhh love the trade table talk!  Thanks for sharing!
Dec 11, 2006 05:55 AM #23
Toby Boyce
C.G. Boyce Real Estate Co. - Delaware, OH
MBA, Delaware Ohio

I love this kind of chat -- and it sounds very close a blog I'm working on for Active Rain in the next couple of days. Bait, bait, bait.

If I could add one more comment: Don't be SHY. As they say, the shy agent has hungry children. But in the case of blogging, if you get kudos from someone then "share" it on your blog, even if only as a comment.

For example, I was recently called a "rising star" by Sellsius, and I included it as a link in my post, because we can say "wow I'm great" but when someone else does the credibility goes up 10-fold.


Dec 12, 2006 02:20 AM #24
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Toby, Please check your link. It is not working and we would really like to read about your "Rising Star" status!


Feb 05, 2007 02:08 AM #25
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Roberta Murphy

Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
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